Enceladus 4: The Invasion

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Chapter Three

The next day, the palace was terribly busy. Lynx and Alexander’s wedding was in one month and four days. At the moment, Lynx was sitting in the center walkway of the palace with a laptop. I had no idea what he was doing but there were several maids behind him, peering at the screen.

The rulers of the other planets were getting ready to leave. I watched from the upstairs railing as Queen Eciri and one of her guards headed outside. I was eager to know what kind of abilities her species had. Maybe I’d do some research later.

To my right, King Peidax came out of his room past the ballroom and gave me a creepy smile before descending the stairs. I shivered. I was glad to see him go.

Lord Mel came out of his room as well. I felt bad about being so brazen with him last night. He was just trying to help. “Lord Mel,” I called. He came up to me. “I wanted to apologize for my behavior last night. I wasn’t very nice. You were just trying to help me.”

He waved off the apology. “’Tis no problem, Princess. It is a shame I am leaving. I would have liked to get to know you better.”

I struggled not to roll my eyes. Did he just make me regret my apology?

“You know, just for research purposes,” he fumbled. “Just to know about your species as a whole.”

I smiled. “Understood. I would like to know about your planet too.”

His gold eyes twinkled. “Maybe we could email.”

I tried not to laugh. That was totally the equivalent of asking for my number. “Sure.”

Mel dug in his bag for a pen and paper. Once he produced it, I wrote my email on it. “As humans say, text me.”

He rose his eyebrows but smiled. “You will have to tell me about that.”

“It was great to meet you, Lord Mel.”

“Call me Mel. You as well, Princess.”

I shook his hand. “Call me Amelia.”

He smiled once again and walked downstairs.

“Hi.”

I didn’t have to turn around to know it was Talia. She wrapped her arms around my torso. I was sure it looked silly since she was shorter than me. Like most women on Enceladus. “Hi, love. How’d you sleep?”

“Fine but you’re the one with the sleeping problems.”

It was true. I'd had terrible nights before Talia and I started dating. I mostly dreamt about the innocent people I had killed in the war. That had kept me up at night. I was much more stable just six months later. Most of that, if not all, was because of Talia. “My sleep is much better. Who wouldn’t sleep well next to you?” I turned around and gave her a kiss.

She blushed adorably.

I took in her gorgeous blonde hair, her bold hazel eyes and her delicate frame. She was wearing the heart-shaped locket I gave her for her birthday in October, as she had every day since. She was perfect. “You’re perfect, you know?” I repeated out loud.

Her cheek shade deepened. “Far from it.”

I put my arm around her shoulders. “Let’s go get some breakfast.” We went down the stairs.

As we rounded the corner to the cafeteria doors, Talia bumped into Peidax. “Ah! Watch where you’re going, servant. Keep your no-good servants on a leash, succubus.”

My rationality went out the window. I reared back and punched Peidax straight on the mouth. He cursed in his language. I watched a tattoo on his forearm inch right off his body. He was right, they did make a whole figure.

“Hey! What is going on here?” I turned to see Cassiopeia coming.

“Your freak of nature sister punched me,” Peidax shouted.

“I could do a lot worse. Insult my girlfriend one more time and I’ll show you what a succubus does.” I stepped closer to him before Cass got in the way, facing him.

“This is my planet, King Peidax. Not yours. I suggest you leave now of your own free will before I have you ejected into space.”

Peidax glared at me but his ink retreated back to his forearm. “Fine,” he grumbled and walked out the front doors.

Cass turned to me. She didn’t look happy. “Are you kidding me, Amelia? Do you want another war like with Tethys?”

Forty. No, no. Not again. “No, I don’t. But he insulted Talia and-” Her expression made me close my mouth.

She stalked off with a sigh. I saw Lynx watching, amused.

I turned around and found Talia, tears welling in her eyes. “What’s wrong?”

“I am just a servant.”

It took me a second to realize what she meant. “What? No, that’s insane, Talia. You are so much more. You’re not even a servant anymore.”

“That’s all I’ll ever be,” she whispered. Then she ran through the foyer and up the stairs. I followed her to her room. She sat on her bed and put her head in her hands.

“No, love. That is so not true.” I knelt in front of her, closing the door with telekinesis. “Is this just because of Peidax? You know he’s a pig who doesn’t know anything.”

“You, Amelia, are extraordinary, strong and powerful.” She lifted her head. “And what am I? What do I have to offer the world? Nothing but styling hair.”

My heart ached. I had always thought of Talia as a perfect warrior with no insecurities. Now that I saw them, it only made me love her more. “Talia, listen to me. You have everything to offer. You are passionate and strong. Stronger than I am. You are the most empathetic person I know. You bring light to every room you enter.” Wait, love?

She shook her head. Tears were running down her face. I thumbed them away. “Why do you even want to be with me?”

“You mean so much to me. You are everything I aspire to be. You know why?” She shook her head again. “You are kind. You are selfless. You help others before you’ll ever help yourself. You know just what to do, what to say to make someone feel better. You have the most beautiful soul.” I took her hands in mine. “You are wise and always calm. You brought me out of my depression. I am so honored to call you my girlfriend.”

There was a hint of a smile on her face. “I didn’t bring you out of your depression.”

That was utter nonsense. “It’s because of you, Talia that I get out of bed every day. It’s because of you that I live freely. It’s because of you that I’m not suicidal . . . It’s because of you that I’m not afraid to die. It’s because of you that I’m happy. Because Talia, I am totally-” I choked back a sob, “totally and irreversibly in love with you . . .”

She was frozen. Her eyes were glossy and tear tracks ran down her face. “Amy, I love you too.”

I kissed her, tears and all. I had never heard words more beautiful than Talia telling me she loved me. I held her while we both cried and life was okay.

Better than okay.


The next few days were spent helping Lynx and Alexander with their wedding. The time I wasn’t helping, I was in my room with Talia. We had barely wanted to leave my room to eat.

Today I was with Caelum, Alexander and John while they were getting fitted. Lynx insisted I play peacekeeper. Caelum never liked Lynx’s boyfriends or really the fact that he had boyfriends. I also wasn’t sure Caelum would ever like John. John, who “stole” the crown from him.

Alexander stood on the pedestal in a thrown together suit while Karen, the seamstress, took his measurements.

Cal, John and I were sitting in comfy chairs that were facing the pedestal and the mirrors. “So, Alexander,” Cal stressed the last two syllables, “tell me about yourself.” He spoke strictly in Enceladian when it was just Enceladians in the room. Anything to keep him separated from humans.

I shot Cal a warning glance but he ignored it.

“Well, Prince, there’s not much to tell. I have a younger brother that you’ve met.”

Jae and I were on rocky terms. A few months ago, he was helping me control my powers since he was an expert in control. Then he tried to make my dark side come out by threatening Talia. He claimed he “just wanted to help me”. We hadn’t spoken since.

“And that’s it? No family drama?”

“Well, Your Highness, my parents have been dead for over a century.”

That shut Caelum up. He didn’t know. John looked away. He knew.

“It’s okay, Prince. It was a long time ago.”

“How did it happen?”

Karen told Alex to turn around. I watched him through the mirror as he spoke. “My brother, Jaeel, had some problems controlling his powers. One day, he burnt down our house with our parents inside.” His face remained as emotionless as a stone. He and Cal were more alike than Cal would ever admit.

“I’m . . . sorry.”

Alex waved off the apology.

“Okay, so.” Caelum shifted in his chair. He wasn’t usually uncomfortable but it was comical when he was. Seeing my bigot brother off his high horse pleased me. “Why do you like my brother?”

Alex smiled. His smiles were as rare as Caelum’s. I was surprised I never noticed their similarities before. “Your brother is kind and he has such a big heart. He’s smart, smarter than I ever would have known. He cares about people in a way that is so unique.” He closed his eyes for a second. He was so in love with my brother that I felt it.

“Why do you belong with him?”

“Cal,” I said sternly.

“It’s okay, Princess.” He turned back around after Karen ordered him to. “To tell you the truth, Prince, I don’t know what your brother sees in me. He is so ambitious and courageous and diligent and exuberant and intuitive. He’s so much more than I could ever be and that is why I love him, Prince.”

“Call me Caelum.” He stood and shook Alexander’s hand. The two made eye contact and I knew there were unspoken words in their gazes.

I wiped away a tear.

“Amy, are you crying?”

“No.”

Cal rolled his eyes and took his seat.

“John, I realized that I know next to nothing about you,” I told him.

“What would you like to know, Princess?”

“Well for starters, why don’t you call me Amelia even after I’ve insisted? You too Alexander. You’re not guards anymore.”

“Old habits die hard I suppose,” John answered.

“From birth, we are trained to call the royals only by their proper titles: prince and princess, or king and queen. Then when we join the guard, it’s even more enforced,” Alex said.

John nodded in agreement.

“What are your parents like?” I asked John.

“I never knew my father and my mother died in the war.”

I panicked. Did I kill his mother? John noticed me and shook his head. Was I really that easy to read? Talia could always read but I assumed that was just because of our connection.

“My mother was beautiful and kind. She always knew what to say. I don’t have any siblings and I had a fairly normal childhood.”

Caelum scoffed. “So, then what makes you king material?”

I glared at Cal. Again, he ignored me.

“Well, Prince Caelum, what makes you prince material?”

I choked out a laugh. Alexander hid a smirk. That rendered Cal speechless. He opened and closed his mouth several times.

“I simply want to better this planet. And if that makes me underqualified then fine. But there’s no way I would ever abandon it.”

Caelum crossed his arms and pouted. That meant the answer was good enough.

“I’ll see you guys later. Try not to kill each other.” I found all the girls (Talia, Cassiopeia, Delphinus, and Golda) in Delphinus’ room. They each had a maid doing their hair. “What’re you guys doing?” I asked as I walked in.

“Lynx wanted us to make sure we all had hairstyles for his wedding.” Cassiopeia rolled her eyes. “It’s over a month away. Next, we’re going to see Karen.”

“Where is Lynx?”

“He’s with Jae, I think,” Delphinus answered.

I walked over to Talia and kissed her cheek. “What do you say we go back to my room?” I whispered in her ear.

“Amelia,” she blushed.

“Stay a while, nïx,” Del said.

“Okay.” I sat on Del’s bed, the only place unoccupied by women.

“How are the boys doing?” Golda asked me.

I laughed. “Decent. They’re not ripping each other’s throats out. Caelum actually told Alexander to call him by his name.”

“Wow,” Golda said. She was surprised and pleased. She loved my ĥåk of a brother. Let’s just say “jerk” was a nice translation of ĥåk.

“Has Lynx told you what color you’re wearing to the wedding, Amelia?” Cass asked.

I chuckled. “No, actually. I assume he will soon enough.”

I spent the rest of the day chatting with the girls and making fun of my brothers and John. After the stylists, we went to see Karen. She fitted me as well.

I had never truly bonded with Cassiopeia and Delphinus. They had never let me join any of their slumber parties. They used to despise me. But my sisters had grown up. Now it was hard to believe we ever hated each other.

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